The first, published by Canalys, reveals that Android has displaced Nokia’s Symbian as the leading smartphone platform in the world. In the fourth quarter of 2010, manufacturers shipped 32.9 million Android-based smartphones worldwide, just barely besting Nokia’s 31.0 million shipped.
It was less than two months ago when we reported that Google had secured nearly a quarter of the mobile market. This new data from Canalys provides even more ample evidence of the company’s rapidly expanding reach.
Remarkably, it was the vendors who saw the most stellar growth over all of 2010. LG, Samsung, Acer and HTC all did very well shipping Google OS-based smartphones, with their volumes growing 4,127 percent, 1,474 percent, 709 percent and 371 percent, respectively. HTC (developer of Desire, Hero, Nexus One and others) and Samsung (developer of Galaxy, Epic, Nexus S and others) accounted for nearly 45 percent of Google phone shipments.
As a whole, the global smartphone market is still booming: last quarter, 101.2 million units were shipped in total, representing 89 percent growth versus Q4 from the year before. Annual growth over 2009 was 80 percent, with nearly 300 million smartphones shipped for all of 2010.
While Android on smartphones is Google’s true darling right now, Android OS for tablets isn’t doing too shabby either.
Mushrooming almost tenfold since the third quarter in 2010, Android accounted for 22 percent of global tablet shipments in Q4 2010, up from 2.3 percent, according to market researcher Strategy Analytics. Apple, which sold 7.3 million iPads during the last quarter, still dominates the market with a 75 percent share of shipments, but that number used to be about 20 points higher.
If you look at the entire market for all of 2010, you’ll see that 15 million of the 17 million shipped tablets were Apple’s iPad. But Google made such massive gains in the last quarter, that it is rapidly becoming a serious competitor for Apple. Strategy Analytics predicts that Apple’s share will continue to drop this quarter, probably to around 67 percent.
As in the smartphone market, several vendors--Acer, Motorola, Samsung, for example--develop products based on the Android platform.